When she loses her sh^t while you are out to dinner – albeit a casual dinner- with a big group of friends?
What is the right response when the anger convulsion is over a fucking lollipop?
There isn’t much that could take out this daughter of mine. She’s the kind of happy that is so certain it doesn’t need to be shown through smiles and giggles all of the time. She’s independent and super resilient. Sometimes I tell her she’s un torro, a bull – strong and fierce. But put a lollipop in the ring with this bull?
…like Superman to Kryptonite.
The public scene of murderous rage the night before last could have been solved easily. Give the kid a lollipop. I’m not a parent who thinks lollipops are the spawn of the sugar devil. She’s had lollipops before. It’s not like she is deprived of lollipop luxuries but lollipops are just that – a child luxury – not a toddler right. The line had been drawn. The lollipop aggression would not stand.
As a teacher, I would watch other teachers read their classroom “expectations” with strict disciplined voices the first day of school only to have them wash their hands of those rules by day 12. “The kids don’t follow the rules,” they’d complain but I’d silently know that some teachers also never followed through. Kids are going to push the boundaries and they’re going to wait for you to either draw the line in the sand or move the line back. Most of the teachers I knew then, always moved the line back.
Ricardo, one of my first-year students taught me one of the greatest lessons I’ll ever learn as a teacher. I asked him to tuck in his shirt and properly wear his uniform since those were the school rules. He responded, “Why? In a few weeks you’ll forget about it like all the other teachers do.” Major aha moment! I realized this little f^cker would wait me out, wear me down until I was too tired to fight that fight any longer and gave in. He was trying to give me a Shoots and Ladders shortcut to the inevitable end. Poor Ricardo had no idea that what he actually gave me was resolve, the strength to stick to my standard no matter how exhausting the struggle. No shoot for me thankyouverymuch. I’ll take the ladders. Builds character and ass muscles.
So we went home.